The turkey’s all gone, presents all opened, your bank balance has shrunk and your waistline expanded. What were all those days of planning and panicking about? In this article we look at how to cope with the aftermath of Christmas;
Yes, it did all mean something, even if you’re feeling flat at best and depressed at worst. Check out our guide and move on.
One of the more difficult legacies of Christmas may be debt, or at least being skint. Don’t beat yourself up – you’re not alone and you can cope with this.
• Think of ways you can cut down in January – this can be quite a satisfying feeling, putting you in control, and it won’t last forever
• What can you sell? Unwanted gifts could bring you in some extra cash
• If you have debts get advice and consolidate them – do not struggle on alone. There are many ways of coping with debts that can cut your costs surprisingly
The festive season may well have left you with a grubby house, dirty cooker and even some minor damage, if kids – and pets – had rather too good a time. Energies can be low now, and maybe you’re just looking at all of this and feeling down. So make a list of what needs tackling, maybe take a day off work and start on the hardest tasks first thing, before you flag. If the decorations are looking tired, don’t wait till Twelfth Night to bin them. A clean home with a few fairy lights will see you through into New Year feeling up-beat.
If you wish you’d done certain things differently, make a list of better suggestions and tuck this in your diary for December next year.
So much seems to ride on having a ‘Happy Christmas’. Everywhere people seem to be smiling, getting together, exchanging gifts and hugs. If you’re alone, this can be hell. If your family relationships are rocky it increases the strain, and even if things are good, the potential for disappointment is very high. We all hope for that little bit of magic, and all too often it doesn’t quite arrive.
• If you, or anyone else, is in any way disappointed, hey, that’s just life. Don’t try to reason it away. It will soon fade and there will be other good times, other reasons to celebrate
• If Christmas brought your relationship issues to a head, you are not alone. At the time when everything is supposed to be ideal we see more clearly the things that are far from ‘ideal’. People who are struggling to get along generally are more likely to have a major bust-up when spending extra time together, especially with the alcohol flowing. If you have had to face some tough issues, could this actually be a gift in disguise? This isn’t the only Christmas there will ever be. Perhaps you can find ways to move on and have a much better one next year.
• Okay, so you lost it with the in-laws, you were irritable with the kids and failed in the role of ‘Santa’s little helper’. Don’t feel guilty. You did your best, the strain was considerable, but refuse to make a drama out of a crisis. Apologise if necessary, make amends if possible, and move on
• Maybe you’re just feeling down. There’s a sense of anti-climax after the year’s major festival. Perhaps you met up with people you love and it was wonderful, but now it’s over. Curl up in the warm with a good book or programme and let yourself recover. Top tip – holiday plans are a first-rate pick-me-up now!
We know that Christmas is a religious festival. To Christians it’s about the wonder of God born on this earth and the redemption he brings. To pagans it’s Yuletide – the re-birth of the Sun and the powers of Light, and a time to celebrate the gifts of Nature. Such meanings can be lost in the mayhem, leaving you spiritually empty, and maybe a tad guilty. What has all the excess been about?
Every culture needs a climax to the year, and for us it’s Christmas. In the developed world we live comfortable lives at all times, so the treats we give ourselves are bound to go over the top. Not doing this would not help the Third World – it isn’t that simple. So thank your God, Goddess or Cosmic Power for their bounty and resolve to spread more of this around you in the coming year.
Plan a quiet time in January when you can review your spirituality, and what life means to you. Maybe you can resolve to spend more time praying, being mindful or sending love and light into the world. Maybe you can commit to random acts of kindness. If Christmas has made you reflect, even a little bit, then it has done what it’s supposed to do spiritually, and you have been enriched.
And So on to the New Year
In this article we’ve looked at coping with the aftermath of Christmas practically, emotionally and spiritually. Hopefully you will now have a basis for going forwards into the New Year feeling in control, and wiser into the bargain. Finally, always remember to count what went smoothly, what you did well and how many smiles you put on faces. There are sure to have been plenty!
For more advice, contact one of our expert readers today
PUBLISHED: 5 January 2016